Davos' Mood of Dark Foreboding

The switch to sober suits is more than a fashion trend. It reflects the new corporate sobriety and gloom about a war with Iraq

Three years ago, when equity markets were surging and the high-tech boom was nearing its peak, the attire of choice for attendees at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, was casual winter garb. Corporate executives, academics, even heads of government left their jackets and ties at home and wandered around the Congress Center in this exclusive Swiss resort sporting open-neck shirts or baggy sweaters. "It was the New Economy look," recalls Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates (see BW Online, 1/28/03, "How Easy Does Just About Everything").

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